Goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Keith Yandle celebrate the Game Four win.
TAMPA — Glen Sather’s big trade-deadline piece is beginning to peak at the right time.
Keith Yandle scored a goal and added two assists in the Rangers’ 5-1 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday, two nights after tallying two more helpers in the Rangers’ crushing overtime loss in Game 3. The defenseman has five points in the last two games after notching four assists through the first 14 games of the postseason.
“I mean I think with this type of series you’ve got to be up in the play, you’ve got to make plays especially against a skilled team like them, you’ve got to find ways to create offense and play down in their zone,” Yandle said. “I think all our ‘D’ did a good job of getting up in the play and making plays.”
SLATS MORE LIKE IT
The NHL announced on Friday that Sather is one of three finalists for the GM of the Year award, along with the Lightning’s Steve Yzerman and the Ducks’ Bob Murray. The winner will be announced June 24 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Sather, 71, constructed a Rangers team that went 53-22-7 (113 points) in the regular season, won the Presidents’ Trophy and set a franchise record for wins. This is the first time he has been a finalist for the award since its inception in 2010. He was also the architect of five Stanley Cup championship teams with the Oilers.
A notable snub was Islanders GM Garth Snow, whose offseason moves for Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, among others, helped the Isles move from last place in 2013-14 back to the playoffs this season. Voting was conducted during the second round of the playoffs and the three nominees’ teams have all reached the conference finals.
After tallies from Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash on Friday night, the Rangers have now scored two power play goals in three straight games.
They entered Game 2 6-of-40 on their power play and then went a stunning 6-for-13 in games 2-4. The Rangers hadn’t scored multiple power play goals at any point all season.
“First off (Rangers assistant coach), Scott Arniel puts a great plan forward and he’s always kind of shifting things and making little changes,” Nash said. “It seems both units are having chemistry and getting shots through.”
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